Have you seen the new tribute to the Great North Dog Walk?

Great North Dog Walk  organiser Tony Carlisle.
Great North Dog Walk organiser Tony Carlisle.

A lasting legacy to a one of the most popular events in South Tyneside has taken root.

A topiary dog has been created to mark the 27th anniversary of the Great North Dog Walk.

Tony Carlisle with the Great North Dog Walk topiary dog

Tony Carlisle with the Great North Dog Walk topiary dog

It is standing proudly next to the well known Great North Run Man on the Mowbray roundabout - outside the New Crown pubon the seafront.

The shrub sculpture has been put into position ahead of the canine-friendly event this weekend, which takes place on The Leas in South Shields on Sunday.

Running from 9am to 3pm the event hopes to attract another record-breaking number of participants - with organiser Tony Carlisle hoping around 30,000 people will take part with their dogs.

The 60-year-old said: “The topiary dog has been created as a lasting legacy to the event.

“The sculpture has been three years in the making after I came up with the idea.”

He added: “I put the idea for the running dog to South Tyneside Council and we have managed to get it in place to mark our 27th year.

“I am really pleased with how it looks and people have already been asking me wether it will be a reindeer at Christmas.”

Started by Mr Carlisle in 1990, the Great North Dog Walk has raised an estimated £6.32 million for various different charities over the years.

Last year it beat its own Guinness World Record with more than 28,947 dogs recorded - representing 185 breeds.

Mr Carlisle, who will be walking with his six-month-old Labrador Bella-Blu Carlisle, added: “It is free to take part and everyone is welcome to come along, simply turn up on the day.

“You don’t even need to have a dog.

“We are raising money for 34 different charities, including the Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter.

“The topiary dog represents everyone who has helped with the event over the last 27 years.”

Coun Moira Smith, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are extremely proud to host the Great North Dog Walk.

“It also brings thousands of visitors to South Tyneside and is a tremendous fundraiser for animal-related charities.

“It is particularly fitting that we have been able to put this new topiary feature in place in time for the event next month and in celebration of its growing success as being recognised as the biggest dog walking event in the world.”